James Perryman “The Narrow Gate” (Independent, 2018)

‘The Narrow Gate’ is the new EP release from James Perryman. Consisting of five high quality songs with a clear American roots sound, this is a mature collection with a varied approach. Never over-produced, there is an overall impression of quality without the need to make a fuss. This a slow burn that is rewarded by repeat listens. There is melody, depth and subtlety here, but also great songs.

This is the third EP from the West London, alt-country, singer songwriter and is a valuable addition to his body of work which moves on from recent single ‘Why Do You only Love Me When I’m Stoned?’ which, with a Ryan Adams feel, is itself well worth your time. Co-produced by The Honey Ants frontman, John Grimsey, the music is classic and smooth. Varying from a delicate acoustic approach, to more lively arrangements, the songs are showcased well.

Perryman is best known for his work with Australian siblings Angus & Julia Stone and London duo The Honey Ants. This led directly to the formation of his own three-piece band featuring Tom Quillfeldt on bass and Rob Pennel on drums. Vocalist Olivia Coghill completed the jigsaw and contributes significantly to the sound with her haunting voice.

Opening song ‘My Lover’ starts with delicate falsetto vocals that atmospherically contrast with stripped back verses that are so catchy. There is a subtle Bon Iver influence present. This song has a powerful build up and finish that is a highlight. ‘Closer’ follows this well. A slower, atmospheric and melancholy song that is like a relaxed Jason Isbell.

This EP is a coherent whole with enough variation of approach to remain interesting throughout. ‘The Narrow Gate’ is worth hearing. Hopefully a full length album won’t be far behind.



Five song EP with strong songs, atmosphere and delivery

About Denis Parkinson 14 Articles
Musician and writer based in Liverpool, England. Denis spends his time making music, listening to music, talking about music and writing about music. What else is there?
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James Perryman Music

Thanks for the kind words Denis. Glad you liked it. I’ve got upcoming London shows on…

21 May – Finborough Arms, SW10
8 June – Royal George, Charing Cross Road
12 June – The Victoria, Dalston
27 June – The Monarch, Chalk Farm